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Taking Breaks

Why this works: Focused attention requires mental energy, which is depleted throughout the day—not to mention that hours of online classes and studying can lead to screen fatigue. To restore your energy and focus requires periods of rest. 

How to do it:

  • Use the "Pomodoro Technique". Work without interruption for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, then do another 25 minutes. After four 25-minute rounds, take a longer break and repeat, or move on to the next thing. 
  • Whenever possible, try to make your break a physical one, rather than simply looking at something else on your screen: stand up, walk around, stretch, or get a glass of water. 
  • Breaks also provide an opportunity for your brain to store information in your memory. At the end of each study session, while still sitting in your chair, try to close your eyes and relax for 10 minutes.   
  • To prevent screen fatigue, try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break by looking at something 20 feet away. 
  • For more ideas on ways to take breaks, including free meditation and yoga classes, visit the Virtual Well-Being website.